Almost 90 Irish athletes heading to Paris for this year's Gay Games

Irish athletes are preparing to take part in this summer’s Gay Games in France.

The event, which has been running since 1984, celebrates inclusion in sport.

Almost 90 Irish athletes are set to join 8,600 other registered participants for Paris 2018.

Running from August 4-12, 80,000 spectators are expected to attend the games which are taking place in Paris this year.

Anyone interested in participating can register for one of the 36+ sports or 14+ cultural events here until June 30.

"It's really important to get LGBT atheletes involved in sport for all the reasons that you've heard before - health and mental well-being and so on," said Philippa Ryder, a cyclist for TeamIreland.

"We're delighted to have this opportunity and to have such support from the Taoiseach and Katherine Zappone, the Minister for Children."

Sporting events in this year's games include boxing, triathlon, dancesport, rugby sevens, various aquatic events and roller derby.

The wide range of cultural events will include an International Rainbow Memorial Run, orchestral concerts, cheerleading, tours, a grand ball and film exhibitions.

Digital Desk

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